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Sounders lose opener to Sporting Kansas City: Highlights, stats and quotes

"I won't remember this one long - it's one you'd like to forget. It's a start for us, it's the beginning." -Sigi Schmid

After an entertaining opening day of Major League Soccer, Sounders fans were looking for a rousing home win to move on from a disappointing midweek loss. Jordan Morris got his nervy shot out of the way in the 9th minute and it felt like his next would surely be on frame. Valdez and Dempsey and Ivanschitz were all working into the game and finding space, and Osvaldo Alonso was looking spry and aggressive.

Those are the positives we can take away from the match, because the red card, the missed save and the loss can't be taken back. Sigi Schmid and the disheartened players say as much in their comments after the match. As Schmid points out, there are still 99 points on the table.


Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Sporting KC 1

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Alan Kelly

Assistants: Ian Anderson, Apolinar Mariscal

Fourth Official: Drew Fischer

Attendance: 39,525

Weather: 51 degrees and cloudy


SKC - Nuno Coelho (Jordi Quintilla) 73'


SEA - Oniel Fisher (ejection) 41'

SKC - Graham Zusi (caution) 76'

SKC - Roger Espinoza (caution) 77'


Seattle Sounders FC Stefan Frei; Oniel Fisher, Brad Evans - captain (Dylan Remick 90'), Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Andreas Ivanschitz; Jordan Morris (Oalex Anderson 83'), Nelson Valdez (Zach Scott 70'), Clint Dempsey

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Aaron Kovar, Darwin Jones, Nathan Sturgis

Total shots: 8 (Dempsey/Alonso, 2)

Shots on goal: 2 (Ivanschitz/Dempsey, 1)

Fouls: 9 (Valdez/Fisher, 2)

Offside: 3 (3 players tied with 1)

Corner-kicks: 7 (Ivanschitz, 7)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Sporting KC - Tim Melia; Amadou Dia, Matt Besler - captain, Nuno Andre Coelho, Chance Myers; Jordi Quintilla, Roger Espinoza, Soni Mustivar, Connor Hallisey (Jimmy Medranda 82'), Graham Zusi; Dom Dwyer

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Kevin Ellis, Lawrence Olum, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Daniel Salloi, Jacob Peterson

Total shots: 14 (Zusi/Coelho, 3)

Shots on goal: 4 (4 players tied with 1)

Fouls: 19 (Myers, 4)

Offside: 1 (Dwyer, 1)

Corner-kicks: 6 (Zusi, 5)

Saves: 2 (Melia, 2)



Opening statement:

"A disappointing result - it's a tough game having to play with 10 guys. It makes the game a little bit harder. Even when we went down to 10 we bent a little bit, but we didn't give up. We had a great chance early - Jordan Morris, if he buries that chance it changes the game for us. We had a couple others - off the post, crossbar, the goalkeeper made some great saves for them - [in addition to] Dempsey's free kick and Andreas [Ivanschitz]'s shot. It was a tough game from the standpoint of having to play a man down for that amount of minutes."

On Brad Evans' shoulder:

"Popped out, popped back in - I haven't seen the replay. It looked like he got undercut a little bit...It's a matter of pain. You can play probably within a week."

On Oniel Fisher's ejection:

"I thought Fisher's play was good up until then - I thought he was having a good game. He got forward well, he got himself into some good situations...Overall, I thought his play was good. [Tyrone] Mears has a quad strain. We wanted to give him three or four days, and we think he will be back in full training on Wednesday."

On Jordan Morris' shot attempt early in the match:

"Obviously he would like to have another chance at that again. I think the ball sat up on him and he ended up hitting it over the top. Again, too many expectations upon him is not fair and it's not right. [We will] allow him to grow and play - this is his first game, his first regular season MLS game."

On what was said at halftime in the locker room:

"The message at halftime was to stay in a 4-4-1 and look to see if there's an opportunity to put ourselves in a situation where we can get some corners and some free kicks because we think we're dangers on those, which we did. The group went out there for 15, 20 minutes and then we would start to get some fresh legs on, and go from there."

On Sporting KC's goal:

"I don't know if Stefan [Frei] was unsighted a little bit or saw the ball late, but it seemed to skip past him on the wet turf. I am sure it's one he would like to face again because I am sure he'll feel he can save that, but he's made a lot of big saves for us."

On positive takeaways:

"The positive thing for me is that when we were even, I thought we were the better team. I thought we created the early chances, if we bury those changes - like I said - goals change games. We always talk about chance creation, and I thought we created some chances. I thought we were dangerous playing a man down."

On moving on from this match:

"I won't remember this one long - it's one you'd like to forget. It's a start for us, it's the beginning. There are 33 games left; there are 99 points still out there. If we had 99 points at the end of the year we would all be ecstatic. It's just a blip. Journeys aren't always easy. This journey, for this year, has started off a little bit rocky, and we just have to get back on the road and push forward. It's all about having to continue to work. You learn more in little setbacks and you grow more in character from things like this."


On the match:

"I think the team is not happy with our performance; the result didn't really go the way we were hoping and expecting."

On the game changing with the red card:

"I really believe that with the red card the morale of the team really went down and it was difficult for us to overcome that. But I think in the previous games and before that we were able to have some chances and we were just not able to complete them."

On the red card:

"I didn't really see; I was too far away from it so I couldn't really tell if it was a red card or not. But a red card is a red card and what we need to do as a team is come back when we have a situation like that and fight but we were not able to do that this time."

On playing with Jordan Morris:

"I think he's doing well; he's a very talented player but now he's feeling all the pressure that a real professional league has, but he's a player that works very hard. He works very hard during training and he's going to continue to improve in the next game."


On the team's performance:

"I thought we fought well and were unlucky to give up a goal. We're just going to come back, work hard until next week. It's obviously tough to go down to 10 men but the guys always fight hard...Just got to build on that and look towards next week."

On the breakaway in the first half:

"It was a great build up, great ball by Andreas and took the first touch and just got underneath the ball. I just kind of rushed it a little bit. I should have looked up and taken my time a little more; I just got underneath it, just got to keep working on that. It was frustrating because that would've changed the game for sure."

On playing with Dempsey and Valdez:

"It's good; I think it's really good. We're learning the new formation and learning to play off each other but they're two great players so it's fun to play with them."


On how he grades his debut performance:

"My performance wasn't that good. Out of 10 I would give it a five or a six. That's not what I do. I could've done better but sometimes that's how it goes. I just have to work a little harder and prove to these people what I can do."

On the message from Coach Schmid before entering the game:

"He told me to track back because we were down a man and do my job and just to do what I do best."


On the red card:

"Actually, I saw him at the end of it - I didn't see him at the beginning. From everything that everyone says on it, he was in the air and actually scissors at the end of it. I saw both legs up, but again I didn't see the full picture."

On the match:

"I don't know if it was in the first five minutes, but in the next 15, we were under pressure quite a bit. There were a lot of set pieces on our end, something like four or five corner kicks. We were under it - I thought we did a good job to weather the storm. They had a good chance, we had a good chance - outside of that I thought both defenses did well. [After the red card], I thought we were smart and patient with the ball."

On the goal:

"The goal comes from our central defender, but he's actually done that since he's been with us. He likes to go forward, which is a good thing. He comes unmarked and he hits a great ball -  I think it's a very tough ball because at that point the rain came and the ball really skid off the turf."


On the goal:

"I thought I was going to score. If you don't believe you will never take chances and if you don't take chances you are never going to score. So I took a chance and I scored."

On the teams play for the opening game of the season:

"I thought we played very good. The important thing is we got three points. We are going to keep working."

On winning in Seattle and the difficulty of playing here and getting an early win on the road:

"Obviously winning games outside your home is not easy but we came here with a plan and we executed the plan. Now we get to go home and play in front of our crowd this weekend."


On your thoughts on tonight's game:

"For me I thought defensively the team did a really good job. The guys did such a good job pressing to the ball and being organized defensively. So I didn't have to do much throughout the game. Coming on the road, Seattle is a really difficult place to play and for me to not really have to do much though the game, well that speaks volume for the confidence for us as we move forward."

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